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October 10, 2005


Yesterday evening, I ran.

I ran past houses with warm lights in the windows, mothers in kitchens, fathers in yards, and children darting between the two. I peeked into their life and soaked up their happiness, their normalcy, their comfortable routines.

There was one home that was particularly poignant to me. It was no different, really, than the scores of other houses I passed, but for one thing. The view through the window showed walls and walls of shelves, filled with books from one end to the other. Ahh, I thought. Readers.

What kind of books do they read? Who reads them? Are they trophies or pillars?

As I thought these things, I wondered what people see through my windows. They don't see books. This is strange if you know me, because books prop up my life, keeping the bits and pieces balanced, harmonic. You would think my house would be overflowing. But it isn't. The few books I own are usually ones given to me that I've read but haven't had a chance to donate to the library yet.

Why is that?

Well, it's because I am not a collector of books. I am a collector of words. I hunt and gather words like a literary savage. They are crowded into my brain, archived in a messy chaos that only I can navigate. They wait patiently for employment. Innoculate. Puissance. Gratuitous. Fathomless. Melancholy. Conspicuous. These words beg for utterance, for a chance to exist, and I am sympathetic to their plight. I am helpless against their pleas, I can't bear the dying of words.

So when I saw that house, those shelves and books, I gloried in the thought that those words had found a home. They are read over and over again, until they are polished and shiny from use. With each reading, they are resuscitated from obscurity, guaranteed a few more years, a few more breaths.

My run carries me away in seconds, my glimpse into their home abbreviated by my speed. My legs move faster and I am fueled by satisfaction. There is purpose in my effort, in my tending of words. Someone cares. As writers, we release our much loved words into this wide world, hoping and praying that they find their way. We watch them wobble out, new and eager and impossibly innocent. We fret nervously and helplessly as they find their own fates.

And then it happens. Magically. Surprisingly. Someone finds them, and loves them, and gives them a home.

There are few moments in life when I am speechless, when words fail me. A blessing and a curse to be sure, this propensity to articulate my entire life. It's gotten me in more trouble than I care to remember. But in this, words fall short. They can't contain the joy they invoke in my life. Ironic, isn't it?

It's a funny thing, this love affair with words. It's bottomless, insatiable, and yet incredibly fulfilling.

It's just... wonderful.

My So Called Writing | By WonderGirl | 9:33 AM


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